There will be an IDC seminar next Tuesday (26th) given by Ian Kruger.
Title: Self-service Analytics: A Social Perspective
Abstract: Visual Analytics is coming of age as a tool for aiding business users, helping them exploit data as an asset and make informed decisions. There is of late a general shift towards self-service in Business Intelligence analytics, supported by vendors providing increasingly user-friendly, visually driven tools and the demand by end-users for timeous and flexible access to transactional data. What remains less well understood are the dynamics surrounding the design of information dashboards under these conditions. This presentation explores the findings of an ethnographic-inspired study at a University in the process of adopting Tableau as a management reporting tool, during a period in which there were significant changes to HE environment.
In large hierarchical bureaucracies that typify the modern knowledge-intensive organisation, like a University, responding to complex and dynamic environments, there are two important social dynamics to the creation and sharing of organisational knowledge. On the one hand there is a need for communities or business units to develop a deeper understanding of their own problem domain (perspective making) through a rich interplay of narrative and analytic forms of cognition. This results in increasingly specialised and but rich domain specific knowledge and practises that are not easily accessible to other communities within the organisation. And so there emerges a second social process (perspective taking) to communicate and use this knowledge across functional and other organisational boundaries as a basis for their co-operation and collaboration. Allowing communities of knowing to be intimately involved in the building of their own dashboards (through the concept of self-service) allows the dashboards to support the social sense-making roles of perspective making and perspective taking. Understanding the use to which information visualisations (in this case dashboards) are put in management and operational functions, is important for gaining insights that will guide their design, adoption and adaption in these organisations.
Bio: Ian Kruger is currently research assistant at Middlesex University, having submitted his MSc in Visual Analytics at the University.